Commonwealth Secretariat Rolls Out Initiatives to Build Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change

Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 10, 2019 (SKNIS): The theme for St. Kitts and Nevis’ Diplomatic Week 2019: “Securing a Resilient Future through Strategic Diplomacy and Effective Dialogue is in line with initiatives of the Commonwealth Secretariat, said Commonwealth Secretary-General the Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QC.

The secretary-general made the statement on April 09, 2019, at the opening ceremony for Diplomatic Week via a video message.

“This Diplomatic Week theme of resilience building relates directly to so much of our longstanding and continuing Commonwealth collaboration. Current Commonwealth areas of focus include resilience profiling, debt-for-climate swaps and counter-cyclical financial instruments,” she said. “Among our initiatives to support Caribbean and other small states to build resilience is the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub. Although it has only been operating for a short time, the Hub has already been instrumental in making significant contributions to beneficiary countries with £19.5 million already mobilized and over £285 million of climate finance in the pipeline,” the secretary-general added.

The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland further explained the functions of the Hub, noting that “another key component of the Hub is skills transfer, which we believe is crucial for improving the capacity of our less developed countries”.

She said that the Commonwealth Secretariat is also developing an online portal dedicated to disaster risk finance. “The portal will allow our member countries to share with one another their experiences and examples of good practice for accessing disaster finance,” she said.

“We are also initiating discussions with our Commonwealth Secretariat partners on a proposed universal vulnerability index which would enable consensus to be built on defining and measuring vulnerability. We have 43 implementation tool kits, and through our online law and climate change tool kit we are addressing the issue of resilience and disaster risk reduction from a legal perspective,” said The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland.  “Alongside specific initiatives to build resilience to disasters and climate change, we are delivering other Commonwealth tools and initiatives to build resilience in small states.”

The secretary-general used the occasion to encourage individuals to visit the new Commonwealth Hub as it is packed with “tools and capabilities for mining data in trade and other economic statistics, environmental, social governance analysis – including on gender equality and other developing themes”.

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